Jesus’ impact was becoming greater and greater. People were believing in Him. The Sanhedrin, the chief priests, and the Pharisees were not only uneasy with the situation they were upset. It wasn’t just Jesus speaking anymore. His followers were spreading the word about Him. Lazarus was telling everyone what had happened and all the people who believed because they had seen Jesus call Lazarus out of his tomb were telling people.
Verses 9-11 read,
“When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.”
Your testimony matters. Your testimony is the proof of Jesus in your life. When you tell people the things Jesus has done for you it impacts them. They have a choice to believe or not to believe. They deserve to be given the option.
Lazarus and those who believed because of his resurrection had such an impact that they created an impromptu celebration for Jesus. Maybe they were the first flash mob. Verses 12-15 describe it.
“The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” 14 And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,
15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion;
behold, your king is coming,
sitting on a donkey's colt!”
They were excited and wanted to show their veneration of Jesus. They didn’t have it all right, but God forgives our imperfections and eventually they would learn and mature. These enthusiastic worshippers still thought that the Messiah would set up an earthly kingdom. They thought He would free them from Roman oppression and re-establish Israel as a nation. That is why they used the palm branches which symbolize military victory and triumph, peace and eternal life. They were sending a message to Rome while they paid tribute to Christ. But their act sends a message to us as well. Jesus gives us victory over sin and death. He reconciles us to the Father and gives true peace. He gives us eternal life. The spontaneous celebration of Jesus was another step of preparation for Jesus death. He was proclaimed king by the people.
While the people were proclaiming Jesus their earthly king, Jesus pointed them back to scripture and directed them to God by sitting on a donkey instead of a more stately horse. He accepted their laud (as He had every right to do) but gave the glory to God.
John and the other disciples didn’t grasp it all that day, but after Jesus was glorified the Holy Spirit reminded them and revealed the truth of it to them. They wrote it down so that you and I could gain the benefit of their testimony.
The people that had believed Jesus had become a crowd, and the crowd kept telling everyone what they had witnessed and experienced. More people were believing that Jesus was the Christ. And the Pharisees were freaking out. Verse 19 reads,
“So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.”
The Pharisees saw that everything they were trying to do was futile. People were going after Jesus regardless of the risk of excommunication. They were ready to finally arrest Jesus and carry out their threat to kill Him. Jews from everywhere gathered in Jerusalem at Passover and they were going after Jesus. But the Pharisees had spoken prophetically without knowing it.
Jesus came for the whole world. He gave His life for everyone. Your testimony could be the thing that brings someone to an understanding of their need of Jesus, the goodness of the Father, and the power of the Spirit. Your witness could plant the seed or bring in the harvest. Jesus gave His life for you. He gave His life for the guy across the street and for every soul on this earth. If you believe, Jesus has done a great miracle in your life. He brought you to life from death. Shouldn’t you be telling everyone about that awesome miracle?
Lazarus testimony was powerful. Yours is no less formidable. Jesus saved you. That is something worth telling. How can anyone believe if they never hear? How can they hear if you don’t tell?